4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, R, W at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
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Instead of an extensive menu of massage types, Graceful Services offers just one: a signature treatment that incorporates the Eastern techniques of Tui Na, Shiatsu, and Qi Gong with the more common form of Swedish massage. For those unfamiliar with such jargon, this means deep, therapeutic bodywork combined with more stretching than is usually found in a traditional Western massage. According to owner Grace Macnow, the energetics-focused Asian modalities have a healing power that goes beyond the physical. Macnow believes that this unique style, offered consistently (she retrains all new therapists herself), is what has landed the spa on many "best massage" lists and attracted a steady flow of regular clients. It's certainly a better selling point than the clinical-feeling space, in which seven massage tables are lined up in a row and separated just by flimsy white curtains. Having a massage in this room is a bargain; for those who insist on more privacy, there are two larger rooms (with doors) that can be booked for a slightly higher price. Facials and body scrubs are also available, and most of the facial estheticians are massage therapists as well, meaning clients enjoy a little quality kneading while waiting for their masks to dry.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.